A recent "whitepaper" report from IsMyPetSafe.com warns of the dangers posed by driving with unrestrained pets in the car, and it may be more hazardous than you realize.

States Michael Miskulin, Editor at IsMyPetSafe.com:

"Driving with an unrestrained pet in the car is not only distracting, but a serious safety concern for both passengers and pets. A 65lb dog traveling close to 35 MPH can become a deadly projectile having a kinetic energy equivalent to a 750lb weight falling on your foot from a height of 3.5 feet. If a pet strikes an occupant during a crash the results could be devastating."

So, if you are planning on bringing Fido or Fluffy with you on vacation, you are going to want to make sure they are properly restrained. And there are other measures you can take to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe trip.

Precautions to Take with Pet Travel

According to a study conducted by AAA and Best Western International, more than half of U.S. Pet owners take their cats and dogs with them when they travel. That adds up to a lot of four-legged friends on the roads who are depending on their humans to keep them comfortable and free from harm.

  • Test the waters. If you haven't had an opportunity to see how Fifi or Bruno handles a car ride, take a few short drives to see whether or not your dog or cat gets anxious or car sick. You don't want to have any nasty "surprises" while en route to your vacation destination.
  • Buckle up the right way. Obviously, it is imperative that you restrain your pet in the car, but make sure not to cut any corners in the process. You will need a device that is specifically made to keep your cat or dog in one place while in a moving vehicle. Consult online product reviews in order to confidently purchase a pet restraint.
  • Heads and paws should remain in the vehicle. While a lot of dogs enjoy sticking their heads out of car windows, the ASPCA warns that this may cause ear damage or lung infections. And absolutely no part of your cat should ever be outside of the vehicle while it is in motion.
  • Be prepared to stop. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, you should stop with your pet every two to three hours so they can go to the bathroom and get some exercise.
  • Keep them hydrated. It is recommended by the ASPCA that you keep at least a gallon of cold water on hand to ensure that your pet has plenty to drink during the trip.
  • Don't leave pets in the car. This is especially important if the weather is hot. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside of your car can reach 110 degrees in 10 minutes, even if the windows are cracked. This can be deadly to pets, so make sure that you keep Buster or Mittens by your side.
  • Take preventative measures. No one likes to think about their pets getting lost while on vacation, but things can happen. So, it is a good idea to attach a second tag to your pet's collar that includes the address and phone number of where you will be staying during your trip. You should also bring your pet's medical records along in case there is an emergency.

You can have a great road trip with Rover and Snowball if you do a little planning and follow a few simple rules.

Every Road Trip Needs a Car

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